16 - Top Tips: BWO - Hatch Match - Best flies for Blue Winged Olive Hatches



The Blue Winged Olive (BWO) can be found in almost every trout stream and river, preferring alkaline waters, and they are common nationwide. Hatches of Blue Winged Olive may occur all year round, with the largest concentrations usually between March and September. Hatches will generally occur at warmer times of the day. From the late morning to the afternoon.

The colouring of BWO may vary but generally the insects tend to have grey wings, with a slight blue tint, a kind of steely grey, and bodies will be of various shades of olive or brown.


BWO nymphs live in almost all types of running water and nymphs often drift short distances in the current to find a new home, which is a good time for trout to find them. Sunrise and sunset are the prime times for this nymph activity, with nymph imitations working well even when there may be no hatch at all – as long as the fish are focused on the nymphs they can be caught. 

Nymphs will generally remain in the lower water levels until the beginning of a hatch when they move into the drift heading towards the surface to hatch. The four main stages for the Blue Winged Olive, as with most upwinged flies we’ll encounter, are Nymph, Emerger, Dun and Spent fly.


The BWO nymphs are generally strong swimmers and as a hatch progresses and the nymphs reach the surface levels of the water, the emergers begin to hatch into Duns. The Hare’s Ear Dark Bead Head is a perfect fly for mimicking the steady swim of a nymph along the bottom of the river by using long steady pulls as you retrieve it. 

 CDC EMERGER Green (£0.75)

  The emerging Duns reach the surface by dead-drifting or by crawling to the surface on some object and letting go to drift along in the film waiting for their wings to dry before taking flight. An emerger pattern such as the Olive CDC loopwing will allow the fly to sit in the surface film and by casting upstream, the fly will drift very well mimicking the drying Duns. 
BWO DRY (£0.50)


The BWO Dun at this point is very vulnerable to trout as if often needs several attempts before it becomes airborne whilst drifting in the current, like a little sailboat drifting downstream. 


  A BWO Parachute pattern is deadly for use the stage where a fly will be in the surface film. The BWO Parachute are perfect for providing the buoyancy needed to imitate this stage of the hatch and the added visibility a parachute pattern provides will let you hook fast in a strong current. 
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